Positive Gifts from the County Go Beyond Doctors and Medicine

It can start as a cry at a higher than normal pitch, a raging fever that won’t come down, bruises that appear for no reason. A parent, consumed with worry seeks out help. The Pediatrician makes a preliminary evaluation and orders more tests.

Then the moment arrives…words, delivered with professionalism and care from the doctor;  everything has changed for the family and the child with the difficult diagnosis.

For nearly 300 families in Nevada County (California), these experiences are part of their story. But that’s only the beginning. A new reality sets in—one that involves long drives to special care units at UC Davis, San Francisco or Stanford and physician specialists, dieticians, nutritionists, social workers and rounds of medication.IMG_1555-web

Maryellen Beauchamp has a special connection with these families. She is Nevada County’s Public Health Nurse Case Manager for California Children’s Services. 53 webCalifornia Children’s Services is operated by the State of California. Over 80 years old, it has an office in every county. Maryellen acts as the conductor in an orchestra that encompasses multi-faceted medical assistance for children with severe health issues. These issues can range from growth plate or skull fractures, endocrine, neurological, orthopedic, and metabolic disorders to Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy and premature infants.

This type of work comes with a heavy weight and knowledge that is often difficult to leave behind at the end of the day.  On her desk, Maryellen keeps several inspirational quotes that remind her to remain grounded. One of them reads; Today, I am fortunate to have woken up. I am alive; I have a precious human life. I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. –H.H. the XIVth Dalai Lama

Maryellen recently had the opportunity to incorporate something important into her program—a sense of positive empowerment for her young clients. It came in the form of a beautifully illustrated book, Toby Bear and the Healing Light.  It is the story of a stuffed bear who teaches a sick child the power of affirmations, meditation and visualizations in the healing process.

Toby Bear and the Healing Light was created by author, Lisa Boulton while undergoing cancer treatments, as a gentle way to help children going through difficult illness. Boulton enlisted photographer and artist Lisa Redfern to create the photo-illustrations. “I wanted the story to feature local people, places and businesses as a way to express my love for our community and for the outpouring of support and caring that I received when I was sick,” says Boulton.SNMH Approved 12-14-12

Maryellen says, “I like that the story features Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital—the place where the journey with California Children’s Services begins for many of our families. It is also a plus that the Nevada  County Public Health Department could partner with the local women who created the book.”

As Maryellen puts it, “You can’t get well with doctors and medicines alone…it takes the right attitude to make it all work.”  She’s excited about the books because she plans to give them as gifts to the age appropriate children in her program. “It is a positive message and gift from Nevada County Public Health Department to the children (and their families) who need it most.”

Read more about this topic at The Union.com.

Toby Bear and the Healing Light

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Organization & Social Media for Authors

Author Interview – Resources for Writers

If you are a Haylee fan, you’ll discover a bit of the back story in this condensed author interview. You’ll also learn about the historical research – San Francisco and California Gold Rush – that went into the project.

Created to coincide with the release of Haylee and the Traveler’s Stone (paperback), the interview contains marketing and social media tips for authors. It also delves into character development, creativity and sources for Public Domain images.

The original, in-depth author interview can be read on the blog, You Read It Here First.

Interviewer:

Debbie McClure, author of In the Spirit of Love and In the Spirit of Forgiveness
You Read It Here First Blog owner—Christina Hamlett, Screenplay Consultant, Media Relations Expert and Award-Winning Author.

Developing an Online Brand – Toby Bear the eBook

In the spring of 2012, Lisa Boulton was designing her own line of jewelry, the mother of three grown sons, starting a new career as a health care provider … and a breast cancer survivor. At the end of that same year, she had added another accomplishment: published author.

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“When I first met with Lisa (Redfern), I had written the Toby Bear story and had created a series of pencil sketches. I loved the digital paintings of children that I’d seen in Redfern’s studio, so I thought I would ask if she’d work on the project with me,” says Boulton.

Lisa Boulton says that the Toby Bear project is her “passion” and the culmination of her life experiences: An opportunity to comfort and care for children and to help them build a strong sense of self-awareness with positive thinking techniques. Redfern too thought that the project would be a excellent vehicle to express her own amalgamation of professional skills and that it could add a new dimension (ePublishing) to her business.2013 TO Do graphic

Throughout the summer, the women worked together to execute their production schedule that involved finding models, scheduling photo shoots, creating art pieces, manuscript editing, shooting and editing their first Toby Bear web video. They also gathered data to set-up the TobyBearStories.com website and Facebook page that include resources for childrens yoga, healthy eating, meditation, care tips for cancer patients, a media kit and About the Author information.

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By June, the Toby Bear website and Facebook page had launched. The eBook, Toby Bear and the Healing Light, was published and available for sale on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Soney & Diesel in September.

Although Redfern was reluctant to enter the print book market, Boulton convinced her that a continued need for physical product-in-hand existed. So they developed the manuscript into a format for print-on-demand (also available through Amazon).

Lisa Boulton had her books in hand by Christmas time.

“I was exuberant when I received my first shipment of books.” said Boulton, “The clerk at the Nevada City Post Office saw my excitement and asked me to open the box so she could see them too (there wasn’t a line behind me). It was a fabulous moment! We were both so excited to see the whole community beautifully represented in the book,” comments the author.

To learn more about Lisa Boulton and Toby Bear and the Healing Light, visit TobyBearStories.com

Toby, Lisa & Lisa

Vintage Pet Beds – Hand Crafted in Nevada City

The Cattani’s background in gift item design, pet products, building and furniture crafting make Pet Beds a natural outgrowth of their style and ingenuity.  They have amassed a stock of headboards and chair backs that they design into special and unique pet beds. They also offer a specialty service where they craft a custom Pet Bed made out of your own furniture.

“The Pet Beds we design are about love and comfort for our pets,” says Becky Cattani.

In her career, Becky traveled extensively in the orient and designing highly successful gift items for an import company. She also spent most of a decade researching the history of a 1900’s fishing lodge in Oregon and restoring it to it’s historical splendor. Prior to 2006, the Cattani’s lived in Santa Cruz County where Becky owned a pet deli & boutique in the little village.

These experiences began her love of period furniture, antique restoration and product design.

Matt enjoys working with all kinds of people. He has a quick smile and is perpetually cheerful – even when he faces challenges. His skills in building maintenance have carried him far in life. He’s managed and maintained apartment complexes, vacation rentals and a historic hotel. His workshop would make any woodworker envious. It is a gabled building painted cheery bright red and replete with a lighthouse style light at the top that shines brightly every evening.

In 2011 the Cattanis hired me to create professional product images for brochures, upcoming festivals and for a website. During the course of our photo session, we discussed their business goals, objectives, target market issues, and technical skills. We concluded that a website, that they maintain themselves, is not practical for the Cattanis at this time. Their goal is to work with pet suppliers, interior decorators, catalog companies and to connect with people one-on-one at craft fairs to generate custom orders.

For the immediate short term, they plan to list their contact information in key online locations so that they have a web presence and focus their business building efforts through connections that  they develop at festivals. To this end, they work cooperatively with artist Monique Hanson, who specializes in animal painting, to share booth space at artisans festivals throughout northern California and Nevada.

Comments they always hear when people see their Pet Beds, “Oh! Those are so darling!”

“When we first started showing the beds, people would ask if their dogs could sit on them. We thought that would be alright…until we realized that the dogs wanted to mark their territory!”  laughs Matt.

Matt and Becky are enjoying life in Nevada County,  their continual quest for unique furniture and always, always the joy and exuberance of their furry companions.

Moondoggies / Luna Kitties
(530) 470-0347
Moon Doggies Motel
13050 Discovery Way
Nevada City, CA 95959

Small Women Owned Businesses on the Rise in Nevada County

In spite of the challenging economic environment that Nevada County has been experiencing for the last several years, I have been a witness to and a cheerleader for a number of small, women owned businesses who have been steadily developing their roots in the soil of local commerce.  My next blog posts will be profiles of their emerging businesses; their goals, marketing strategies and plans of action.

It has been energizing to work with these women and to watch their growth. I am excited to tell their stories!